Behind each day of celebrating a decision to follow Jesus there are dozens—hundreds—of Spirit-led moments to which so many others contributed.
Published on: 08-31-2018
“And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how’” (Mark 4:26, 27).
Each time I stand in a baptismal pool or a summer lake with a radiant new believer I’ve just baptized, I think of these words of Jesus.
I may have spent weeks—sometimes years—carefully, patiently studying with them the great truths of the Word of God. I may have invested dozens—even hundreds—of hours helping them understand the life to which Jesus is calling them. But I’m only a small part of the process that has led to this day of rejoicing.
Behind every good decision to commit a life to Jesus and seek membership in His remnant church there’s a usually unseen story that includes dozens of other believers and hundreds of divine providences. Someone invited the middle-aged woman now being baptized to a church-run Vacation Bible School when she was 10, and there she first heard the story of Jesus. Another believer brought over a gift of food when she lost a brother to cancer, stood with her while she wept, and quietly put an arm around her shoulder. Yet another—knowing nothing of these things—distributed handbills on her street for an upcoming evangelistic seminar, to which the Spirit moved her.
One more believer drove her night by night to the 16-part evangelistic campaign led by the passionate young pastor, and talked with the baptismal candidate each night on the ride home. Still another kindly walked her along her first-ever church potluck table, helping her identify the foods she might wish to try. Sabbath School teachers, children’s program leaders, greeters, and—oh, yes—pastors contributed to the moment when she stands in the water, rivulets streaming from her baptismal robe and rivers of joyful tears streaming from her eyes.
Behind each day of celebrating a decision to follow Jesus there are dozens—hundreds—of Spirit-led moments to which so many others contributed. I think of them—I think of you—each time I’m blessed to stand beside a beaming new believer in the water.
As you review the remarkable stories in this edition of Adventist World focused on the recently completed All Japan 2018 Maranatha project, join me in thanking God for the many unseen, unsung heroes who made these joyful results possible.